Welcome to One Busy Momma! The Blog for Busy Moms by one Busy Mom.....

Welcome to my blog. One Busy Momma is my space to rant about my life and the things that happen in it. I have a crazy life - and instead of focusing on the crazy - I like to focus on the funny. Because if I focused on the craziness - well, I'd have been shipped off to an institution long, long ago. And while, I'll admit, there are some days when being institutionalized sounds PRETTY GOOD compared to making ANOTHER diorama at 1am - I'd rather be right where I am - in my messy house with my not so perfect kids making crooked dioramas in the middle of the night.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

So...How ARE you doing?

So, I'm not linking this post to FB, because once again, it's just not a typical happy-go-lucky Busy Momma. So - if you're not up for a bit of a downer...STOP READING NOW. Go and watch Glee or something... But I have found that writing about my grief is the only cathartic way for me to move through it - so here it is.

So, there is a monster living under my bed. A real monster, with huge pointy teeth and razor sharp claws and he likes to come out at night when everyone else is sleeping. He is different than your average monster in that he also likes to stage sneak attacks in the middle of the day - where everyone and anyone can see him! He has no shame. And his name is grief. I like to call him the Grief Monster. And he is one ugly sonofabitch. He's not cute like Elmo. He's demented. He's like Elmo the crack-whore.

Even though it's been four months and 6 days,  he has still NOT left my house, although he has quieted down a bit. But he's a foxy little bastard. Right when he's nice and quiet and tamed and you think he is sleeping soundly in the little box that you have crafted out of tears, and bits and pieces of your heart - he roars back to life with a bellow that is so powerful, it just knocks the wind right out of your sails. 

I was doing well - really, really well. I was having good days, great days and even ok days that were pretty close to good. Days without tears. And then those days turned into WEEKS without tears - hurrah!!! I was even able to walk right past baby stores where the windows were filled with baby things without crying. HUGE victory over the grief monster - HUGE. I was able to look at babies - especially baby boys without feeling a piece of me dying inside. And then one day - whappo. The Grief Monster decided to wake up and come to life and attack. And unfortunately, I was caught in traffic in the middle of the Harbor Tunnel when he made his move.

I don't know what prompted it, honestly I don't. I don't listen to sad songs, I don't listen to sad stories on the radio and I avoid any and all Oprah-type books on tape these days. So, I definitely take my preventive measures to ward him off. Just like someone tries to ward off a vampire with garlic - I tried to ward off the Grief Monster by listening to Tina Fey or Betthany Frankle's new books on CD. And it really was working beautifully. But as my due date steadily approached, the grief monster just got more and more powerful. It was like the more I did to push him away and block the doors and black out the windows, the more powerful he became. It was almost like he was feeding off of my frantic attempts to keep him at bay. And damn if he didn't catch me. In the tunnel, at rush hour, of all places.

I just started to cry. The reality of how different my life would be if the word "triploidy" had never been introduced into our vocabulary struck me. I wouldn't have been sitting in traffic at that moment. I would have been home, probably stressing about every kick and pain and ache and wondering if labor was starting, wondering if this time would be quicker, slower, more or less stressful. But instead, I was in the car, stuck in traffic, crying the ugly cry for all the world to see. And I couldn't stop. I just cried and cried and cried.

And I kept crying. And the dreaded due date arrived. And I kept telling myself that  like everything that had happened so far, the reality wouldn't be half as bad as the anticipation of it happening. And in this case - I was wrong. It was worse than I imagined. I cried all day. It was a beautiful, beautiful day. Big, puffy white clouds in a beautiful blue sky. It would have been such a beautiful day to be born. When I was working as a doula, when I would meet my clients at the hospital - I would always greet them with "Today is a BEAUTIFUL day to be born!" And May 9th was a truly beautiful day. But instead of sitting in the hospital and pushing, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10...and relax and again 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,910...and relax....I sat at the cemetary. PC sat at my side, just as he would have sat at my side in labor and delivery. The problem being, in L&D they literally deliver you from the pain. Except when your baby dies. Then, they deliver the pain...and it doesn't go away. And there is no one at the cemetary to sit there and count you through the steps to escape the pain. There is no death doula.

Thankfully, the next day dawned. We made it through the terrible dreaded day. We all had our moments. Bella was hyper-aware of the day - but she was a real trooper. She made it through the whole day at school and then lost it when she got home. Jack was typical Jack - he told us that he was sad about Aiden dying and that he wanted him back. He cried a bit and then went outside to play. I was struck, once again, by how resilient kids are and how fortunate we are to have our two living kids to come home to. My heart breaks for parents who go through what we went through and are forced to come home to an empty house.

And as the day fades, mercifully away, the grief monster still haunts me. I'm perplexed by this. He went to sleep for a while, and now he is different. He snoozes, sometimes sleeps through the night, but he's always there. It's like when the dog is alseep in your room - he's asleep, but he snores, so you are always aware of his presence. I can't ignore him - no matter how much I try. I'm beginning to think of him as a giant tatoo over my heart that I can hide under my shirt for only so long - but then he comes to life and I have no control over him. He's pretty well behaved in front of others. He really is. I am actually able to have socially appropriate conversations with others about babies, and pregnancies and expected grand babies. I really am. If you just met me, you'd never know. And I consider that a victory. But at night, when everyone is asleep, I think about how old he would be...a month old tomorrow. I wonder if he's be sleeping through the night at this point like his sister was, or if he'd be more like his brother and be awake a few times per night. I wonder if breastfeeding would have been more successful this time, I wonder what his little baby feet would look like, what he would look like, what his cry would sound like. I wonder if he's be laughing yet. And then I force myself to stop. Because it makes me so sad.

I ran into someone I went to college with today and she asked me how many kids I had. And I paused because I didn't know what to say. I said "two". And I'm beating myself up about it. Because I had three children. I gave birth to three children, but only 2 survived. But you can't say that. It's uncomfortable and impolite. Saying that would make the other person uncomfortable. As Xena often says - "No one wants to hang with Debbie Downer all of the time". And she is right. She used to say that about herself and her situation - and I would always tell her how ridiculous she was for saying that. But she is right. So - if someone asks me how I am - I say "great" or "doing fine" or "hanging in". And many, many days I am. And then there are other days that I'm just "hanging on". There are still days that the sight of a new baby in a baby bucket makes me feel like my eyeballs are on fire. Catching a glimpse of those fat baby legs and chubby baby toes hanging out of that stupid Graco infant carrier kills me.  And don't get me started talking about babies in baby Bjorn carriers and Piggysaks. Because that's where my baby would be for 90% of his waking hours.

But, it's no use thinking about that. It doesn't help me, it just mires me in this place. This place of being fine on the outside and still plastering over and repairing all of the cracks on the inside. There is one positive thing that has come out of this whole mess...this "ordeal" as Bella so elegantly calls it. And it is this: Now, I say what I mean and I mean what I say.

What is that all about? Well here it is: I told someone off recently. Someone who has been in desperate need of a good "Come to Jesus", if you will, for YEARS. Someone who was beyond deserving of hearing how his or her actions have affected my family for YEARS. And someone close to this person had the sheer and utter audacity to blame my words on my "grief". And suggested that I needed to "get help" and also not so subtely suggested that I was, in fact, not REALLY a "grieving mother".

Oh yes, the bitch went there.

Well Peeps, here's the 411. The Busy Momma who is slowly emerging from this shroud of grief is not, in fact, a kinder, gentler lady. I am no longer the girl and/ or woman who longed to be "liked" and to "fit in" and to be "accepted" by you and yours. I no longer CARE if you like me, love me, accept me or if I fit in with your gang. I know who I am, I know that I am a hell of a lot stronger and tougher than I ever thought that I was. And even though I might still cry in the car, race past the baby aisles in Target, walk 2 miles out of my way to avoid a mommy with a newbie in a stroller, I am OK. Meaning this: if I tell you something - especially if I actually have the audacity to say "Hey, what you just did or said wasn't cool and it hurt me/my kids/PC" it's probably NOT the Grief Monster talking. It's ME talking. It's ME not taking BULLSHIT from anyone any more. Shocking, huh? See while the Grief Monster can and does kick my ass on a regular basis, he doesn't speak for me anymore. My filter is back. I take 100% responsibility for my words and my actions. If I tell you off, call you a Jackhole or a douchebag - It's ME talking. If I call you a Jackhole - it's because you, indeed, ARE a Jackhole. It's not that I'm beside myself with grief and sorrow. Sorry to break it to you.

And to the person who implied that somehow I am not really a grieving mother: There is no word in the English language to describe what you are. Jackhole and douchebag are way too kind. I can only imagine that you feel that I don't deserve to sit in the same pew as other women who have lost children because my child died in utero? That somehow, because he was not yet born that he was somehow "less than" your children? Yes, you are correct, he was stillborn...but he was still born. It doesn't matter that my beautiful boy wasn't even a pound or that his footprints were as big as the first joint on my thumb...exactly. He was my baby - our baby. A baby that we had hopes and dreams and big plans for. He was wanted and loved and cherished. He was read to and sung to and talked to every day. And then he died. And yes, I am incredibly sad about that. But I am not out of my mind. I am perfectly able to function in society. I've just decided that the bullshit I've turned a blind eye to for years is, in fact unacceptable in the new world I inhabit. And I told you. You didn't like it. That's cool. But getting back at me by blaming my "grief" - a grief that you could not possibly ever understand - was a low, low blow. Even for you. And I always expected low from you...but this is a new, reptilian level of low.

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